SEAKCHLIGHT ON HINDUISM 71
twisted arms, and the walls would crumble, and he would walk
abroad in the darkness.
Christ on His cross, giving to the world a last, skining phrase—
* Forgive them for they know not what they do*—Ganesh in his
cave, twisting his trunk, riding in a chariot driven by a mouse.
Can any but a fanatic seriously contest that these two symbols
are worthy of equal honour in the 'Hall of Universal Religion* ?
4 But they are only symbols/ you may tell me, 'and as such they
are of no consequence. The same sun shines on both of them ; it
is God's sun and that is all that matters.'
Such talk is nonsense, and very poisonous nonsense too. The
S3ymbols are of the utmost consequence* If you doubt it, listen to
one of India's foremost Hindus, C. Rajagopalachari, Ex-President
of Congress and one of Gandhi's closest friends. This is what he
thinks of Ganesh the elephant god i1
'People of the West might not find beauty in Ganesh and might
say that the figure was funny and that at best it was a mascot.
But to the Hindus Ganesh represents the sense of universal
unity.. .beauty and ugliness are combined to make one ineffable
beauty in Him. He has the body of a fat man and the head of aix
elephant, with a mouse as His vehicle. He is fond of good eating
but He is not stupid as a Westerner might suggest. We are a
curious people ; let us continue to be curious, that is my prayer.*
It is a strange thing when a man must apologize for his Gad;
one hardly finds it necessary to apologize for Christ. It is an
even stranger thing when, having apologized, he continues to
worship. Yet that is exactly what HajagDpalachari does in the
above speech. Yes, the Hindus are indeed 'a curious people.'
We are still dealing with negatives. We are still showing what
Hinduism is not, rather than what it is. But this seems to be the
quickest method of clearing away the spiritual undergrowth, so that
1 Report of a speech delivered to a gathering of the Maharashtra Msndal, quoted
in The Hindu for September 8th, 1943.